Westside schools:
Rasmussen returns as BV interim

       Faced with a late opening for principal at Buena Vista Elementary, District 11 administrators didn't have to look far for an interim replacement this summer.
       In their midst, working part-time for the district, was Alan Rasmussen, who had been the school's principal for 17 years before Brenda Smith came on board at the start of 2005.
       “It's like getting back on the bike,” quipped Rasmussen last week, when asked how it felt coming back.
       He complimented Smith, who took a position in Steamboat Springs, for her efforts since his retirement. “It's nice to know that the Montessori program we worked so hard to create [in 2004] has grown and done so well,” he said. “And I was impressed with how clean the grounds are. The employees have done a good job.”
       The school is now about three-quarters Montessori, with only grades 3-5 still offering the traditional educational style. The Montessori infusion has brought with it an enrollment upsurge, from a low of about 150 before the hands-on learning program was implemented to about 200 now.
       It is not known how long Rasmussen will hold down his old desk. Deputy Superintendent Mary Thurman said that a permanent replacement can be found “hopefully prior to the end of the first semester.” A nationwide search is underway. A principal experienced in Montessori is preferred.
       In the meantime, she said, “We value the contribution of Alan. He is a quality principal. This is not a rush job.”
       Smith had given her notice in early July. District administrators decided not to look for a permanent replacement at that time because they wanted to involve the parents in the choice and not all were available over the summer, Thurman said.
       In addition to knowing the school, one area in which Rasmussen should be especially capable is “response intervention” (to help kids who are having trouble achieving). That was the main part of the work he had been doing for the district, Thurman noted.
       In other Buena Vista news… The PTA has hired a band for the school's open house Friday, Aug. 24. The plan is to have the actual open house from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., after which the musicians will play outside until about 7:30 p.m. while carnival-type activities go on, Rasmussen said.
       Westside public schools in District 11 reopened Aug. 17. The following lists each school, followed by open house date/time and new teachers with their grade levels or subject areas. Note: Some special-area teachers instruct at multiple schools.
       Bristol - Thursday, Aug. 29, 6:30 p.m… Susan Lapioli, first; Nora Ford, third; Amanda Gonser, fourth; Katie O'Sullivan, fifth; Diana Pitcher, special education; Rita Cardin, kindgarten assistant..
       Buena Vista - Aug 24 4:30-7:30 p.m... Alan Rasmussen, interim principal; Kathy Carpenter, fourth (traditional); Natalie Sardi, lower level (Montessori, ages 6-9); Kathy Pauicello, primary (Montessori, ages 3-6); Caron Reilly, special education.
       Howbert - Aug. 23, 6 p.m… Lori Janson, fourth/fifth; Jill Courpier, second; Diane Gajewski, first/second; Cyndi Gallup, LTE: Terry Hays, G&T; Siri Everett, speech therapy.
       Ivywild - Open house was held Aug. 15... Melissa VanWulfen, fourth; Mo Morrow, LRT: Monica Bakken, G&T; John Yates, PE.
       Jackson - Aug. 23, 6:30 p.m... Erik Miller, music; Deena Groshans, second; Michelle Mellinkoff, preschool.
       Midland - Already held ice cream social… Christine York-Schmidt, first; Kevin Siemers, art; Becky Zenthoeffer, librarian.
       Pike - Aug. 23, 6 p.m… Jody Stutman, second; Wes Anderson, orchestra; Heather Brandon, PE & art; Jean Rice, special ed.
       Washington - Aug. 28, 5 p.m… Siemers, art; Gracie Wright, G&T; Martine Wilshusen, kindergarten; Maria DeBore, school psychologist; Teresa Casey, cafeteria manager; Andrea Hanes, assistant cafeteria manager.
       Whittier - Aug. 30, 6 p.m… No new teachers.
       Holmes - Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m…Scott Noller, assistant principal; Lori Wood, math & science; Karmen Kimm, language arts; Julie Stahl, math & science; Cindy Nath, language arts, social studies; David Salazar, foreign language; Greg Bohn, industrial technology; Chris DeMeire, reading interventionist; Susie Shakespeare, collaborative teacher; Wanda Holt, special education assistant; Jule Wolf, speech therapist; Rene Bohn, LTE; Jewel Meyer, attendance secretary; Bret Iverson, police resource officer.
       West - Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m… Scott Foss, science; Susan Broxton, language arts, social studies; Michael Wheeler, math; James Logan, art (returning from military leave); Dwight Buel, ESL.
       Coronado - Aug. 30, 6 p.m., building opens; 6:45 p.m., address by District 11 Superintendent Terry Bishop in the main gym… Emily Sherwood, special ed; Susan March, art; Brad Bogard, counselor; Gary Hilty, industrial technology; Sandra Holmes, French; Laura Luke, math; Nicole Maier, Spanish; Mike Nagelkerke, Spanish; David Salazar, Spanish; Lanette Scott, math; David Steele, math; Pam Cole, special ed.
       Bijou - Sept. 13, 5 p.m… Victoria Reid, social studies; Kelly Primus, special ed; Vicki Patterson, English; Katherine Ewing, social worker.
       While major summer renovation projects have been completed at Bristol and Washington elementaries and Holmes Middle School - and are partially completed at Coronado High - several smaller, “site-determined” projects were complete or in progress at different Westside schools.
       These include:
  • Security systems at Ivywild and West.
  • Music room improvements at Holmes and West.
  • Stage improvements at Holmes
  • Additional computers/ tech equipment at Howbert, Buena Vista and Ivywild.
  • Media Center improvements at Buena Vista, Holmes and Jackson.
  • New marquee at Howbert.
  • Playground/ track im-provements at Jackson.
  • Fitness equipment/ enhancements at Holmes.
           Each district school received “site-determined” money from the bond issue to spend as it saw fit, based on meetings with school officials and parents, according to John Kerr of the District 11 Administration Office.
           Jackson Elementary has openings for 4-year-olds in its free preschool. For more information, call the school at 328-5800.

    Westside Pioneer/press releases